Navigation Links
SLU virologists harness adenovirus to kill breast cancer cells

ST. LOUIS With a $40,250 grant from the Lottie Caroline Hardy Charitable Trust Fund, researchers at Saint Louis University's Institute for Molecular Virology will study a small fragment of adenovirus as a possible future therapy for HER2 breast cancer.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer affecting women. Despite major advances, it is still the leading cause of death from cancer in women. The HER2 oncogene is implicated in 20 to 30 percent of breast cancers and has a poor prognosis. Current therapy for HER2 cancers (Herceptin and chemotherapy) is not enough to combat this deadly cancer and cannot treat a substantial number of cases.

The adenovirus is a common virus, and researcher Maurice Green, Ph.D., chair of SLU's Institute for Molecular Virology, has studied it for years. He hopes to tame the virus's abilities to kill cancer cells in order to use it as a therapy.

"It's been an ambition of mine for a long time," Green said. "Long ago, I was stationed in the Philippines, and I had nothing to do but read about medicine and that's where my interest started."

Dedicating his career to the study of virology, Green was a pioneer in using viruses to probe the functions of normal cells and to understand how cancer works on the molecular level. Green chose the adenovirus as a focus of study and he and his lab developed the first working model of the virus.

Now, Green and colleague Paul Loewenstein, assistant research professor in the department, have found that a small region of the E1A protein, an adenovirus gene, is capable of repressing HER2 cell growth.

Significantly, this function appears to be controlled by the first 80 amino acids (E1A 1-80) of the entire E1A oncogene.

This is a promising finding, because it means that researchers can focus on this small region of the adenovirus without delving into the rest of the E1A oncogene, which has other functions.

Remarkably, the expression of these 80 amino acids efficiently represses HER2 transcription and kills breast cancer cells but not normal cells.

"This is probably due to the need of the tumor cells for continued overexpression of the HER2 oncogene for growth and survival. This phenomenon has been termed 'oncogene addiction,'" Green said.

One of the exciting possibilities of E1A 1-80 is that it seems to be effective against cancer cells over-expressing other HER family members, besides HER2. Potentially, E1A 1-80 could be used against tumors of the prostate, ovaries, colon, and head and neck, as well as breast cancer.

With this grant, Green and Loewenstein want to develop a strong E1A 1-80 HER2 repressor that may someday be added to Herceptin therapy. Their work will include animal model studies to further demonstrate the potential of E1A 1-80 as a therapy.

And, Green sees particular promise in this gene therapy because it seems to kill not only tumor cells, but targets their origins, as well.


Contact: Carrie Bebermeyer
Saint Louis University

Related medicine news :

1. Virus detector harnesses ring of light in whispering gallery mode
2. Revolutionary techniques could help harness patients own immune cells to fight disease
3. MU scientists build harness for powerful radiation cancer therapy
4. Solatube International Celebrates Earth Day 2013 by Harnessing the Sun’s Rays with Daylighting
5. New Survey Findings: Application Intelligence and Connected Devices - How do you Harness the Value?
6. Total Knee Replacement Surgeons at Bethesda Health Offer New Technology that Harnesses Intelligent Orthopaedic Surgery Using The VERASENSE Knee System
7. Secrets to Success
8. “Harness The Hidden Laws Of The Universe” Helps People Create the Life of Their Dreams – V kool
9. Penn Medicine researchers harness the immune system to fight pancreatic cancer
10. UNC researchers harness suns energy during day for use at night
11. Recombinant adenovirus-mediated 3β-hydroxysteroid-Δ24 reductase inhibits neural apoptosis
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
SLU virologists harness adenovirus to kill breast cancer cells
(Date:11/25/2015)... IL (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... On ... assets of Tri Lite’s personal heating products business. Cozy Products explains what ... personal heaters that fit in well with the Cozy Products business model: to sell ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... double board certified facial plastic surgeon specializing in both surgical and non-surgical treatments, ... The Skin Spa at Hobgood Facial Plastic Surgery. , Highly trained and ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Brillianteen, McGaw ... and learning in its 65th Anniversary Brillianteen Revue, scheduled for March 4-6, 2016. ... For 65 years, Brillianteen has been a treasured tradition for numerous families in ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... “While riding the bus, I saw a ... “I thought there had to be a convenient and comfortable way to protect them ... enables disabled individuals to safely travel during cold or inclement weather. In doing so, ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... 25, 2015 , ... Castlewood Treatment Center for Eating Disorders, ... as a result of the $20,000 raised at the center’s recent golf ... Club in Eureka, will help individuals who otherwise might not seek treatment for ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... SAN DIEGO , Nov. 25, 2015  Trovagene, ... molecular diagnostics, today announced that Chief Executive Officer Antonius ... at the 27 th Annual Piper Jaffray Healthcare ... Conference at the New York Palace Hotel in ... 2015 at 1:30 p.m. EST. Mr. Schuh will be ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , Nov. 25, 2015 Endo International plc (NASDAQ: ... De Silva , President and CEO, will discuss corporate updates ... in New York on Wednesday, December ... . Click on Investor Relations, and then the link to ... the presentation,s start time to visit the site and download ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... 2015 Asia -based ... BioLight and the New Investors will make a direct ... a private placement. The financing will help IOPtima to ... used in the treatment of glaucoma, as well as ... IOPtimate™ system with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: